Entrepreneur’s Guide To Creating A Business Vision Board
A business vision board can help you grow your business to the next level. In this guide, I explain exactly how to create a vision board for your business so that you can make a 2023 vision board with ease.
How To Create A Vision Board For Your Business
The first time I made a vision board I had just quit my corporate job and transitioned into my business full time. I had this vision of traveling extensively with my family and making money doing work that lit me up so I decided to put my vision front and center (literally on the wall in front of my laptop) so that I could work toward it.
I curated images of my most important goals and the values I wanted to integrate into my life and business. I had pictures of school buses that had been converted into luxury tiny houses on wheels; pictures of all the national and provincial parks across Canada; pictures of me working from my laptop in a cozy & inspiring space; pictures of my family being happy, and healthy, and together; and numbers that represented the money I wanted to make and the hours I wanted to work while running my business from the road.
Guess who just returned from a 5 month trip in her skoolie and made $50K working 3 hours a week while travelling full time? Yep, me. And that’s why I’m here to preach about vision boards.
A vision board is a powerful tool for entrepreneurs looking to achieve incredible goals in life and business in the coming year.
Vision boards became popular in the personal development space as a way of depicting your goals in a way that increased focus, motivation, and action to help you achieve them. Now, they’re being utilized by powerful CEOs to help them ground down in what it is they actually want their business to look and feel like in the next 12 months.
In this article, I will explain
- What is a business vision board?
- How is a business vision board different from a personal vision board?
- Why create a business vision board?
- The science behind vision boards
- When to create a business vision board
- How to create a business vision board, and
- Online vision board alternatives
What is a business vision board?
A business vision board is a powerful tool for connecting you, the entrepreneur, to your business goals. In essence, a business vision board is a depiction of your most important goals in visual format. But really, it’s so much more than the sum of its parts (pictures, words, bristol board, and glue).
It’s an effective process for connecting you to your goals on an emotional level, keeping you focused on the big picture when you get caught up in the weeds, and moving you toward a life and business you truly desire.
How is a business vision board different from a personal vision board?
It doesn’t have to be. If you are an entrepreneur, your life and business are ONE, and both need to be in alignment in order for you to experience fulfilling success.
The emphasis on a business vision board doesn’t mean you exclude the life goals that your business helps you achieve (like your dream vacation, or your dream home), but instead it means that you focus also on what you want your business to look like and the goals you have within it (like your dream team, the way you spend your time, how it feels to run your business, the kind of work you do, and how you impact your clients and community).
Related Post: How To Set Goals & Create Fulfilling Success In Life & Business
Why create a business vision board?
While setting goals is a powerful process, adding the added layer of summarizing your goals through a business vision board brings so much value to the entrepreneur, the team, and the business.
A vision board helps you live intentionally
It’s easy to fall into “reactive mode” in your business: putting out fires and solving challenges as they come up. But your job as the CEO of your business is to lead the path forward. If you’re not intentionally thinking about what you want your business and life to look like down the road, you’re less likely to get there.
Creating a business vision board forces you to go through the process of building out your vision so that you end up with a business that you actually love in 3-5 years, and not a version of success that leaves you burned out and unhappy.
A vision board helps you inspire & align your team
Great people want to be part of great companies and teams. When you’ve taken the time to clarify your vision, you are able to effectively articulate your vision (and in this case, literally show it) to others, which gives you the power to inspire them with a vision of a different future.
If your team can’t see the 3-5 year vision, they can’t take action in alignment with it.
If you’re running a larger company consider this perspective: “suppliers and customers, of course, are making investments in your company, but then there are bankers, financiers, venture capitalists, or maybe shareholders, who are literally investing in your company. These people are already looking three years into the future. If you don’t share your Vivid Vision of what your company will look like with them, they’ll have to rely on their own imagination as to what your company will look like.” ~ Cameron Herald, Vivid Vision
If you’re a solopreneur just starting your own business, your team might just consist of you and your partner. If they can’t see the vision you have for your business, it’s going to be really hard for them to support you in creating it.
When you’re crystal clear on your vision for the next few years, you can make sure that the people on your team and in your life are aligned with that vision.
Related Post: How to Grow Your Business With An Exceptional Strategy
A vision board demands clear outcomes
It’s easier to hit a target when you know what the target is. When you get really specific on what you want, which you have to if you’re creating a picture of it, you’re able to narrow your focus which helps you achieve the desired result.
If you want more freedom to travel while running your business remotely, a vision board gives you space to figure out where you want to travel to and what it looks like to run your business so that you can see that more clearly.
If you want to speak on stages and reach a wider audience with your business, a vision board has you look at the conferences you’d be stoked to participate in and get their names or logos onto the board so that they’re already identified and you can take action toward that.
Without a business vision board, it can be easy to get away with vague goals like “freedom” or “public speaking”, but a vision board demands clear outcomes that you can put a picture around.
The science behind vision boards
You could make the argument that you’re able to create a powerful vision without using a vision board, just by having clear goals, but here’s what science has shown us about the power of vision boards.
Related Post: Are You Working On The Right Goals?
Pictures connect more deeply than words
Having a vision board for your business is so much more powerful than goals alone because images connect more deeply with our brains than words.
“[Pictures] bypass the cerebral cortex, where language is processed, and register directly with the intuitive (limbic) and visual (occipital) parts of the brain” says Dr Tara Swart Bieber, neuroscientist and MD.
This means that when your brain goes to filter all of the information coming at it in the run of a day, and sort and store it in your memory at night, it’s going to be more attuned to the images that registered an emotional response in you, rather than the thousands of words you read.
You can take this one step further and imprint your vision in your brain by looking at it immediately before bed. The brain is very impressionable as it drifts into sleep – known as the Tetris Effect – therefore focusing your attention on your vision before bed makes it more likely for your brain to devote extra energy to subconsciously processing unrelated pieces of information and finding ways to turn your vision into reality.
Looking at your vision board regularly imprints importance
The brain has a process called ‘value-tagging’ which imprints important things onto your subconscious and filters out unnecessary information. Neuroscientist Dr. Tara Swart explains that “the brain assigns a higher ‘value’ to images than written words on a ‘to-do’ list, and the more you look at those images, the more those images move up in importance”.
When you look at your vision board regularly, your brain prioritizes those goals above the distractions of day to day challenges and devotes more energy to figuring out how to achieve them.
Vision boards reduce the body’s stress response
I, personally, think this is the most powerful aspect of a business vision board.
When we try new things, our body initiates a stress response, releasing cortisol and adrenaline. However, the more often you expose yourself to these new situations, the less scary they feel.
Just think about the first time you went live on social media, or spoke at a conference, or signed a new client, compared to the last time – the experience is completely different after numerous repetitions.
Well, believe it or not, but your brain can’t differentiate between reality, and what it sees (in its mind, in pictures, in videos, etc.) so the more you expose yourself to images of what you’re nervous about, the less nervous you feel over time – similar to exposure therapy which decreases fear and avoidance.
Regularly looking at your business vision board reduces the physiological fear response to the challenging and stretchy goals you put up there, making you more likely to actually take action toward them.
I frequently challenge my entrepreneur coaching clients to step outside their comfort zones so that they can achieve the level of greatness, wealth, and impact they desire and deserve. A vision board, combined with the other mindset tools I teach, and our regular coaching conversations about these stretchy actions, helps reduce the fear they experience around a new idea and start to take action on it so they can have the result they want.
If you feel like you’ve been sitting too comfortable in your business and are ready to create bigger and better results, you may be a perfect fit for my 1:1 entrepreneur coaching program.
Related Post: Overcoming Fear To Achieve Success
When to create a vision board
Seeing how the purpose of a vision board is to help you step outside of your day to day and think big picture, a business vision board is best created during periods when you’re outside of your routine and relaxed.
The end of the year, as things slow down in your business and you take some time off, can be a fantastic time to create a business vision board. Any vacation, be it in the summer, spring, or fall, can be a perfect opportunity to let your mind wander into the future.
If you feel the pull to create a business vision board now, but you don’t want to wait for a vacation, something as simple as a weekend retreat or even an intentional day of high level thinking can do the trick.
The key is to block out a significant amount of uninterrupted time (anywhere from 4 hours to an entire week, depending on your schedule) to think high level and give yourself the space to put your thoughts into a vision board.
How to create a business vision board
- Block out a few hours of uninterrupted time to let your mind wander
Give yourself the space to think into the future & reflect on what it is you really want to have happen in the next 1-3 years. I love to do this while hiking in the woods. If you process best by writing, carve out some uninterrupted time to sit with your journal and get all your thoughts out of your head and onto paper.
- Get specific on the outcomes you want to create in your life & business this year
What are the actual goals you want to achieve across the important areas of your life and business? If you haven’t set goals yet, check out this guide. Your business vision board is going to be most powerful when it’s specific and focused on a short 12 month time frame. Don’t focus just on the financial vision, really dig into how your business feels, how you spend your time, what your team looks like, your thought leadership, and the impact you’re having on your clients and community.
- Gather the supplies you need
Nothing fancy required – a piece of bristol board, a glue stick, some magazine cut outs, or printed photos from Pinterest, Instagram, Google that epitomize your goals. If you’re extra fancy, you can buy a frame to hang your vision board in once you’re finished for that next level touch.
- Get creative
Sit down and arrange the images on your bristol board – clump images related to one goal together. Glue them down and add as many special touches –- stickers, quotes, washi tape – that your heart desires. Make this a fun process by playing your favorite music, having a cozy drink, and maybe gathering some friends together.
- Integrate it into your routine
Put that vision board somewhere where you can intentionally look at it in the mornings and in the evenings. Set an intention to spend 5 mins a day looking at your vision board and sitting in the feeling of it. Share your vision with supportive family members, friends, or a coach to help hold you accountable.
Related Post: Perfecting Your Personal Brand Statement | How To Answer What Do You Do?
Creating an Online / Pinterest Vision Board
If the idea of a physical vision board doesn’t appeal to you, you can easily create a digital vision board.
- You could create a vision board ‘board’ on Pinterest and pin images that inspire you.
- You could use one of Canva’s vision board templates to design your entire vision board online and then save it as a screensaver on your computer, phone, or even print it out.
- You could look into the various apps that are devoted exclusively to housing your online vision board, like Vision Board.
Personally, I prefer physical vision boards that I can have up on my office wall and linger over while I’m having my coffee in the morning, and before closing out my work for the evening. Especially because I spend so much of my day on a screen, a physical vision board feels better to me. However, I do love to take a photo of my physical vision board and keep it as my phone wallpaper so that it’s always with me.
Vision boards are extremely common in the personal growth and development space, but they’re also beginning to gain more traction in business.
A business vision board not only helps you get clear on what specific outcomes you want to create, but it connects you on an emotional level to your goals, and helps your brain reduce the fear around something new and uncertain.
A business vision board also helps you stay focused on the results you want to create and it puts your brain to work figuring out how to make it happen.
I believe a business vision board is one of the best assets you can create to help you achieve your goals as an entrepreneur, and it’s a lot of fun too – when’s the last time you sat on the floor with a glue stick and gave yourself permission to just have fun? Don’t take your life and business so seriously that you forget to play.
If you’re an entrepreneur with big goals for the future, but you’re struggling to see a clear path to making them happen and are feeling overwhelmed, overworked, or just plain stuck, I’d love to support you in growing your business to the next level so that you can live the life of your dreams.
Let’s jump on a 60 min free Clarity Call to see whether 1:1 coaching might be the right next step for you in your business growth journey – we’ll talk through where you’re at, where you want to go, and what challenges you’re facing and see if it’s a good fit. Just fill out this short form to book a call this month.
If you found this article on creating a business vision board helpful, share it with one of your business buddies & make some time to build one together, it’s so much fun in a group!
If you have any questions about vision boards for business, drop a comment below – I always LOVE to hear from you!